Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 Tips for Healthier Hair

I've wanted to do a post on tips for healthier hair since we started this blog nearly one year ago, but for some reason (forgetfulness) I'm just now getting to it.

So without further ado, here's my list of five things you can do to have "healthier" hair.

I picked this  photo since this is usually what my hair looks like... I'm lying.

1. Know Shampoo/No Lather:  What am I talking about?  Well, one of the best things you can do for your hair is to buy the right shampoo.  Are you one of those people who has to rotate shampoo because you start getting build-up after using the same shampoo for too long?  Do you generally pick shampoo that lathers well?  If so, it's time to start reading the labels.  If it has ingredients such as ammonia or lauryl sulfate, put it back on the shelf.  These ingredients are great for lathering, but bad for hair.  Instead, look for sodium laureth sulfate, a gentler lathering ingredient.

Also, if you're buying the right kind of shampoo, it should clean your hair without leaving build-up.  The reason rotating shampoo works for a few weeks is because the new shampoo is cleaning the old "gunk" from your hair, but it's now leaving new "gunk".  (Great vocabulary, I know...)

I'm sure there are some wonderful expensive shampoos on the market, but if you're a cheap-o like myself, a great drug store shampoo that meets these requirements is Garnier Fructis.  I've used it for almost one year now, and I have really noticed a difference in how my hair looks and feels.  And since my hair is not "gunky" anymore, I can go a couple of days without washing it.  Win/win for this lazy girl.

So remember, if it lathers a lot, it's probably not the best for you hair.

2. Before Conditioning, Give it a Pat Dry:  I recently learned this one while getting a trim.  The stylist used a towel to blot my hair before applying the conditioner.  He explained that the conditioner attaches to the hair better when it's dryer.  When hair is wet, the water tends to wash away most of the conditioner.

It might be helpful to keep a hand towel near the shower to do a quick blot.  Don't forget to leave the conditioner on for a few minutes so it can soak in a bit more.  When rinsing, don't try to get the hair squeaky clean.  Leave some of the conditioner on the hair.  As long as you're not conditioning the roots, this should not affect the oiliness of the hair.

3. Rinse Hair with Cooler Water:  This is pretty basic.  When rinsing your hair after shampooing and conditioning, try to use cooler water.  Hot water opens the hair pores, but cooler water closes them and seals in the good stuff from the shampoo and conditioner.

4. Blow-Dry with the Grain of the Hair:  When blow-drying, try not to point the hair dryer up towards your head.  Start at the roots, and let the air blow the hair down in the direction it grows.  I flip my hair over my head to help add body to the roots, but I make sure to blow-dry with the grain instead of against it.  Doing it this way helps prevent breakage to your hair.

If you can get away with skipping the blow-dry, do so.  You're hair will be healthier the less you blow-dry it.

5. Skip the Shampoo:  This is a well known tip, but it's a great tip. Washing everyday takes the natural oils out of your hair that it needs.  Not to mention, it fades dyed hair faster when you wash everyday.

You might be one of those people who thinks your hair is way too oily to ever do this.  I still say give it a try. I washed my hair every. single. day. my entire life until the last year.  Now I can go 2-3 days between washes.  It has drastically changed my life...ok, it's just made me lazier...

It took my hair about two weeks to get use to the new routine.  (Yes, it was oily and weird in between washes during that time.) But, it eventually was "trained" to be/look less oily.  Give it a shot.  If it doesn't work for you, go back to washing everyday, and use a leave in conditioner.

So those are my five life-changing healthy hair tips.  You can thank me by taking me out to dinner with your check from your latest shampoo commercial.  ;)


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